4-year-old saves ailing mom

Associated Press

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Alex Hayes has received Fort Wayne's first Kid Hero award. 

The 4-year-old boy, who four weeks ago called 911 after his mother was knocked unconscious in a fall down a flight of stairs, was honored Friday in a ceremony with Mayor Tom Henry, the city's police and fire chiefs and the 911 dispatcher who answered his call for help. 

"With the littleness and the shrillness in his voice, it was hard to get the address at first, but he was very awesome and repeated it over and over," said dispatcher Manda Overly. "He told me that Mommy fell down. We just got help there as soon as we could." 

The emergency began when Alex's mother, Jamie Coder, lost her balance and tumbled down the stairs. Alex found his mother lying unconscious, then called 911 on a cell phone. Alex began singing his address to Overly, a song he learned from his mother when they moved into the home just nine days earlier. 

"I took child development in high school, and there I learned if you teach a child any kind of music or a rhyme, they will actually pick it up quicker," said Coder, who suffered only a headache and assorted aches and pains from the fall. "I taught him his phone number, his address and he knows how to spell several words because of the songs." 

Alex will begin kindergarten in August. 

"I'm very proud of him," Coder said. "It's very exciting that the city actually acknowledges good deeds that children do. This is something he probably will remember for the rest of his life, but he may not understand why they're doing all this celebration."